A federal judge on Monday ordered Sen. Lindsey Graham to testify before a special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.
Graham (R-SC) tried to claim he has congressional immunity from appearing before the panel to discuss phone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the days following the vote.
US District Judge Leigh Martin May ruled in favor of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has been seeking testimony from Graham, as well as other Trump advisers and associates in the investigation.
Another judge ordered Trump’s onetime lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to testify later this week.
“Though Senator Graham argues that he is exempt from testifying as a high ranking government official, the Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections,” the judge wrote in her ruling.
May added that Graham must testify Aug. 23, according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV.
When asked for comment, a spokesman for Graham referred to remarks the senator made last week during a news conference in South Carolina.
“I was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and had to vote on certifying an election,” Graham said. “This is ridiculous. This weaponization of the law needs to stop. So I will use the courts. We will go as far as we need to go and do whatever needs to be done to make sure that people like me can do their jobs without fear of some county prosecutor coming after you.”
Willis wrote in court papers that the Republican asked Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining absentee ballots in the state “to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.”
The investigation, launched in March 2021, stems from Trump’s own call to Raffensperger on Jan. 2 of that year.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “Because we won the state.”
Raffensperger rejected the former president’s request.
President Biden defeated Trump in Georgia, becoming the first Democratic nominee to win the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.
With Post wires
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